FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Ryan Hall and Josh Cox to Rabbit the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon on Sunday
Britain's Tom Bedford Will Attempt a
Sub 2:25 Marathon to Benefit the Entoto Foundation
The 2:25 Challenge....
By Toni Reavis
San Diego, CA – May 28, 2009 – An intriguing race-just-behind-the-lead-race
will take place in Sunday's Rock 'n' Roll Marathon in San Diego. Tom
Bedford, son of Virgin London Marathon race director and former world
record-holder at 10,000m Dave Bedford, will try to break 2:25 for the
distance. If he does, he will win a bet with his father and at the same
time raise money for the San Diego-based Entoto Foundation, a 501C3 charity
funding medical care for children in Ethiopia. Tom will be ably supported
by two American record holders, Ryan Hall and Josh Cox who will combine to
pace him through 20 miles.
"Having Josh and Ryan will be scary and fun at the same time," said
Bedford, who arrived in San Diego on Wednesday from London. "It's great
that someone of their calibre will be pacing a Joe like me! It's like that
TV show Pro's Vs. Joe's. I might have to mess with them and do a Sammy
Wanjiru by telling them they are too slow and too speed up!"
Tom's 2:25 Challenge began – as so many bets do - in a London pub after
last year's London Marathon. Over a pint or two there was much discussion
about the fact that no Brit had run under 2:25 that day. Tom said he could
manage a sub-2:25 if he trained. Following the grand tradition of mocking
any declaration delivered over a pint, Tom's father and friends instantly
challenged his sanity and ability. Tom quickly asked if they'd like to
make it interesting.
So the bet was made. Tom would have three years to fulfill his boast, and
could run as many marathons as necessary to complete his goal. To further
his chances and broaden his appeal, Tom asked that all bets against him go
to the Entoto Foundation. San Diego will be his second attempt at the 2:25
Challenge. His first was a solid, but unsuccessful 2:33 at the Marine
Corps Marathon in Washington D.C. last fall.
"My 2.33 marathon at the Marine Corps marathon taught me lots," said
Bedford. "For that race I only really did steady aerobic running so I am
much fitter now but I made a few mistakes I can learn from. The main
lessons are no tequila shots the days leading up to the race, no pizza and
beer the night before and to take energy gels early on in the race. I also
learnt about pacing and what hitting the wall feels like so I know what to
expect in the later stages. I ran 69.30 for a half marathon in early March
which is my PR. I'm a different athlete since I ran that, so hopefully I'm
in shape to do the sub 2.25 here in San Diego!"
Tom will have the highest quality pacers on hand to guide him. 2008
Olympian Ryan Hall is the American record holder in the half-marathon
(59:43), and third place finisher in April's Boston Marathon. Josh Cox set
the American 50km record at this January's P.F. Chang's Rock 'n' Roll
"I know Ryan from when he ran in London, so having him pacing me will calm
me down," added Bedford. "Ryan and Josh can share some of their experiences
of running races in beautiful San Diego whilst I can tell them about all
the great bars and clubs as we pass them downtown! But seriously, it shows
they both have great hearts to help me raise money and awareness for the
Entoto Foundation helping so many Ethiopian kids too much needed health
care. All I need to do now is give them my running chip and maybe they can
run the whole thing for me! That would make things much easier!"
The plan is for Josh to take Tom through half-way, and maybe tack on a few
extra miles. Ryan will pick them up at 13.1 miles and go as far as 20.
"The other day Ryan emailed me a quote from Mother Teresa," wrote Josh to
the Entoto Foundation. "It said, 'We can do no great things, only small
things with great love.' That's the idea here. In the scheme of things
running may be a small thing, but when we use running to impact a life we
change the dynamic and transcend sport.
"We all have gifts; the greater the gift, the greater the responsibility
and opportunity. Running is our gift and we want to use it to serve others
and make the world a better place. Both Ryan and I have a heart for Africa
and have been inspired by the work of the Entoto Foundation. We can't do
everything but we can all do something; we're just trying to do our part."
To date Tom has over $26,000 pledged against him. To join in the fun and
bet against Tom, go to the Entoto Foundation's website at Entoto.org.